In years gone by I have usually baked a ham for a Boxing Day buffet. This year I have decided to ring the changes and look for another crowd pleaser. This classic twist on the traditional Wellington will undoubtedly please those who are tired of the holiday meat-fest and prove most welcome for those who want to end the season of indulgence!
Usually when preparing filo pastry the melted butter between each layer adds fat and calories – I find using a low-fat cooking spray or mist does the job just as well and at a fraction of the fat and calorie load. Look out for some salmon sides at very competitive prices at the moment for this recipe – there are deals everywhere and most can be frozen until required. The pesto sauce I think adds additional flavour but you needn’t use if you’re not a fan. It can be prepared well ahead of cooking so no last minute panic. Serve with a simple salad and some new or waxy potatoes if liked.
CELEBRATION WILD ALASKA SALMON WELLINGTON
2 sides wild Alaska salmon, weighing about 750 g/11/2 lb each
200 g/7 oz young spinach leaves
4 tbsp green pesto sauce (optional)
250 g/8 oz roasted red peppers/capsicums packed in brine, drained and halved
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 x 270 g/9 oz packs filo pastry (6 sheets per pack), defrosted if frozen
low-fat cooking spray or mist
1. Remove the skin from the sides of salmon or ask your fishmonger to do this for you.
2. Put the spinach in a colander and pour a kettleful of boiling water over it to wilt the leaves. Rinse with cold water then squeeze to remove the excess liquid.
3. Turn one whole side of salmon over, so the side where the skin was removed is facing up. Spread with the pesto sauce if using. Arrange the spinach evenly on top, then cover with the roasted peppers/capsicums. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Top with the second side of salmon, skin-removed side down, so that the filling is sandwiched in between. Season again.
4. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F/gas mark 6.
5. Unroll the sheets of filo pastry from 1 pack. Spritz each sheet with low-fat cooking spray or mist and place them, stacked on top of one another, on a large baking sheet or roasting pan (big enough for the salmon). Lift the salmon top.
6. Unroll the 2nd pack of filo pastry and spritz each sheet with low-fat cooking spray or mist. Arrange each sheet over the salmon to cover, scrunching together at the sides to seal and fit.
7. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, covering with a piece of foil after 15 minutes to prevent the pastry from becoming too brown. Turn off the oven, but leave the fish inside for 20 minutes to cook in the residual heat.
8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing to serve.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-3/4
CALORIES PER PORTION: 345
Image courtesy of Steve Lee/Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute